Now we have got some way into the Championship season, it is certainly worth having a look at some things we have learned so far. This piece is predictive looking at how the top six would look if it was made up of the teams that get the biggest average attendances.
It certainly also poses some interesting questions about whether or not the biggest clubs are also the most successful. Therefore, it’s quite clear that this article is more geared towards some of the bigger clubs in the league.
So, now we have that out of the way – let’s get into it…
1. Leeds United (Average Attendance: 30,899)
Leeds United have certainly made a good start to the season – and they are currently sitting in a play-off place. It appears that the good work started by Garry Monk last season has been continued so far. However, it remains to be seen if that work can be continued for the duration of the season.
It’s also fair to say that the home performances have left somewhat to be desired – and the Whites currently have the 20th worst home record in the league. The fact that the club have failed to score a home goal so far this season further illustrates the point that Leeds are far from the finished article.
However, there are positive things to say about the club that might point to a top six finish. The first thing is they are currently occupying that position, but also we can talk about the home support they enjoy. The average attendance of 30,899 is currently the best in the Championship – and who knows how powerful that may turn out to be
2. Sunderland (Average Attendance: 30,408)
Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League last season – and will be looking to make an instant return next season. It’s certainly a big challenge for this to happen as they have been in decline for a number of years. The Black Cats’ problems have been further compounded by the loss of several key players in the summer.
However, the club have acquired some new signings that are equipped to succeed in the Championship. It’s worth remembering that the Club still have plenty of top quality players – and that is illustrated by having one of the most valuable squads in the Championship.
Another thing that the club can rely on is a strong support at home. So far this season, the club have enjoyed an average attendance of 30,408. There is certainly little doubt that Sunderland are one of the biggest clubs at this level. However, repeating what Newcastle did last season will certainly be tough to emulate.
3. Aston Villa (Average Attendance: 30,199)
Aston Villa have made a slower start to the season than would have been expected, but there have been signs of improvement in recent games. At the start of the season, I predicted that they would be the winners of the Championship – and I’m certainly sticking with that idea.
There was certainly a lot of money spent by the club last summer, but this season transfers have been more modest. However, Villa continue to show that they plenty of spending power on wages, the signing of John Terry certainly demonstrated that.
Aston Villa have an awful lot going for them such as a squad full of genuine Championship players along with an experienced manager that has seen most things in football. The fans that they have is another big positive for the club. In home games so far this season, they have enjoyed an average attendance of 30,199.
4. Wolves (Average Attendance: 28,380)
There has been a lot of change at Wolves over recent seasons – but with fresh investment, the club will be hopeful of winning promotion back to the Premier League. The club have acquired an international manager – and a more international approach to signings as well. It will certainly be interesting to see how that works out for them.
Wolves have certainly started the season well – and currently find themselves in a top six position in the league. It’s certainly been a good early reward after being one of the biggest spenders in the Championship this summer.
Another big plus that the club have for this season is the home support that they enjoy. So far this season, Wolves have had an average attendance of 28,380. The club have been used to mid-table in the Championship over recent seasons. Therefore, they will be hoping that things will be somewhat different this season.
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5. Nottingham Forest (Average Attendance: 26,671)
Nottingham Forest struggled in the Championship last season – and relegation looked a real possibility right up until the final game. Therefore, expectations for the club must have been modest this season. Nevertheless, it has been a positive start for the club – and they currently find themselves in the top six of the Championship.
I’m sure fans must have been concerned about the direction the club were heading in after key players left in the summer. However, the new signings have made the desired impact – and the collective team appears to be stronger than last season. Another big positive for the Nottingham side has been the quality of the ball they’ve enjoyed in terms of possession.
Every great team needs great fans and Forest certainly seem to have that. So far this season, the Midlands club have enjoyed an average attendance of 26,671. This is one of the highest in the Championship – and that support could drive them on to great success for the rest of the season.
6. Sheffield Wednesday (Average Attendance: 26,584)
Sheffield Wednesday are certainly one of the biggest clubs in English football. Growing up, I remember the Owls as an established Premier League team, much like say a Southampton in modern-day money. So, while not spectacular, certainly not a side that you would expect to get relegated.
In some ways, it’s just a tale of a Championship team that had better days in their past. However, Wednesday are a team on the way back now – and they have reached the play-offs in past two consecutive seasons. The slow start that they have made to this season should not be seen as a concern – and that was expected anyway.
Wednesday certainly play in one of the most iconic football stadiums in English football. Therefore, it’s vital that the home fans make things as hard as possible this season for opposing teams. What we can say though is they are certainly turning out in their numbers with an average attendance of 26,584 – and they complete our list.
This completes the end of the content section for this article as we look at predicting the top six based on average attendance. So, how did we do? Is this a credible top six for the Championship this season? Or maybe you think these teams will not be the ones to watch.
If you enjoy Championship content like this, then keep an eye on my profile page for all the latest updates. Upcoming articles will cover passing accuracy, tackling and average passes. Wishing you the best of luck as the season progresses irrespective of the Championship team that you support.